Nov 16, 2015

Kasteel Winter Ale

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck makes one of my favorite Belgian ales in the form of Kasteel Tripel. It’s a big beer that I love to set down for a couple years and one that comes through each and every time. I’m also a huge fan of holiday-oriented Belgian beer. So, when I spied a couple of small bottles of the brand’s winter ale, it was a no-brainer to add them to the purchase.

Kasteel Winter is a 11% ABV Belgian strong dark ale. This particular bottle just appeared on shelves within the past 2-3 weeks, but has a packaging date of 6/26/2013. I knew that when I purchased the beer, but figured that, given the style, it would still be a worthy drinking experience. And, for the most part, I was right. This bottle has held up well enough to still present dark fruits, spices and warming alcohol.


The beer pours with a small cap of beige foam atop dark, dark chestnut brown.

Kasteel Winter Ale photo


Raisin, fig, bread, soft burnt caramel, a hint of cocoa, distant spices and smooth alcohol all come together pretty well.


The age on the beer shows through more here than on the nose, but not necessarily in a bad way. Dark fruits, a fruit-cake like character, caramel and warming alcohol are all present. The beer feels a bit thin on the palate, but still tastes pretty darn good. A moderate-to-high level of sweetness fades slowly through the drying, lasting finish.


I knew going in that this was an older bottle of beer and I wasn’t at all sure how it had been kept over the past two years, but figured I’d take a crack at it anyways. All in all, Kasteel Winter Ale has held up pretty well. It’s not as dynamic as some of the other Belgian holiday/Winter offerings, but it still delivered a tasty experience.

Rating: 3.75/5

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